Chelsea Halfpenny, who starred in Casualty and Emmerdale, has opened up about her romance with fellow Emmerdale alum James Baxter, claiming that she had her eye on him for a long time before they became together.
Chelsea and James became engaged in June after three years of dating, but they met as adolescents at a theatrical class – and Chelsea has told The Mirror that she fell in love with James right away, despite the fact that he didn’t seem to notice her.
“If you’d told those two teens 16 years later that they’d be getting married, they’d have thought you were crazy!” she said. “I truly liked him, but he didn’t like me at all!” He’s a year older than me, and I thought he was pretty amazing, but I remember thinking to myself, ‘Well, no wonder he’s not interested, because he’s so much older than me!’
“We never kept in touch because he had no interest in me at all. I just really remembered him because I liked him so much.”
Both actors landed high-profile acting roles, with James portraying chef Jake Doland in Emmerdale from 2007 to 2009 and Chelsea portraying Amy Wyatt from 2010 to 2013.
Despite the fact that their tenure on the soap never coincided, the couple never met.
“When I joined Emmerdale, a few people would speak about James, because he’d only left a year before,” Chelsea said. “I knew exactly who they meant because I remembered this gorgeous boy with the spiky hair that I fancied so much. Eventually we started to follow each other on Twitter… but still our paths never crossed.”
Chelsea and James finally met as adults at the 2018 National Television Awards, when Chelsea was portraying Alicia Munroe on Casualty and James was portraying Leroy in the comedy Still Open All Hours. Chelsea also said that for their meeting, “the stars just sort of aligned.”
“It was another six months before we got together and this time it was the other way round – he was chasing me!” she joked. “It was soon after we got together that I told him I’d fancied him as a kid. I don’t think he believed me to start with!”
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